venerdì 28 aprile 2017

Harpa submersa

Alexander Donchenko – Anish Giri
32nd Reykjavík Open; Reykjavík, April 25, 2017
Catalan Opening E09

1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 e6 3. c4 c6 4. Qc2 Nf6 5. Nbd2 Nbd7 6. g3 Be7 7. Bg2 0-0 8. 0-0 b6 9. e4 Bb7 10. e5 Ne8 11. cxd5 cxd5 12. Re1 Rc8 13. Qa4 Nc7 14. Bf1 Qe8!? A novelty. For 14. ... a5 15. Bd3 Ba6 16. Bb1 see Grachev – Simonian, 21st Russian Team Chess Championship, Loo 2014. 15. Kg2 Nb8!?? “Here we see the difference between open tournaments and the Élite one’s. Giri is ready to take risks here against his opponent that we wouldn’t see in an Élite tournament. Giri now gives up two Pawns!”, writes Ingvar in his tournament report. 16. Qxa7 Ba8 17. Qxb6 Nc6 18. Qb3 f6 19. Qe3 Qf7 20. exf6 Bxf6 21. Kg1. Maybe it’s not wrong, but 21. Bd3 appears more to the point. 21. ... Rce8 22. Qf4? In order to prevent ... e6-e5, but... 22. ... g5! 23. Nxg5 Qg7 24. Nh3 Nxd4. “Black’s pieces have become magically alive. Meanwhile White is still lagging in co-ordination!”, Ingvar wrote. 25. Bd3 e5 26. Qe3 e4 27. Bb1 Nce6 28. Kh1 Kh8 29. a4 Qg4 30. Nf4 Nxf4 31. Qxf4 Qg7 32. Qe3 Bg5 33. f4 Bf6 34. Ra3 Nf5 35. Qb6 Bd4 36. Qb5 Bf2 37. Rf1 Ba7 38. Ba2 d4. White is in a valley of tears. 39. Bd5 Rb8 40. Qc4 Rfc8 41. Qa2 Ne3 42. Rxe3 dxe3 43. Nxe4

And now Giri concludes in grand style: 43. ... Qf7!! 0 : 1. For if 44. Bxf7 then 44. ... Bxe4+ 45. Kg1 e2+ and mate in two moves.

Anish Giri
Photo: Lennart Ootes

giovedì 27 aprile 2017

All persons fictitious disclaimer

Please, Missus Edna Mode, don’t get too hungry! No one wants to take away your brand! I cannot but repeat over and over again that any similarity with fictitious events or characters is purely coincidental.

Wind on the Waves

The day after the end of the 15th Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival (on February 3, 2017), the photographer Jose Huwaidi took a photo shoot of the four-time Women’s World Chess Champion 侯逸凡 (Hóu Yìfán) savouring the gentle salty breeze of Catalan Bay on the Gibraltar Rock. Both the photographer and the model are engaged and sponsored by a double on-line cartel: the Danish trading platform and the Western chess platform For other pictures, please see All photos © Jose Huwaidi.

The Right of Not Becoming Arcovazzi’s Wife

A protest held outside the Department of Health in Dublin, Ireland last week against plans to grant ownership of the National Maternity Hospital to the Sisters of Charity religious order. Photo: Niall Carson/PA.

Come on, Jeremy, that flabby guy is getting nervous because he knows you’ll win
Jeremy Corbin
Photo: Joe Newman/

In-Between Before and After

“This is a horrible suit, darling. You can’t be seen in this. I won’t allow it. Fifteen years ago, maybe, but now? Feh!”.

Edna Mode, The Incredibles

Do Not Disturb Until Christmas

Artwork © Arielfan90

Loud Silence

London, England: Amnesty International activists dressed as the Statue of Liberty demonstrate outside the U.S. embassy. Amnesty marked Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office with a protest highlighting human rights violations reportedly made during his administration. Photo: Andy Rain/EPA.

A Time of Silence

São Paulo, Brazil: Statues are adorned with ear protectors to mark the 22nd anniversary of the International Noise Awareness Day, an annual event (last fell on April 26, 2017) encouraging people to combat noise pollution. Photo: 新华通讯社 (Xīnhuá News Agency)/Barcroft Images.

Come on, Jeremy, luck doesn’t knock twice
Jeremy Corbin protesting against apartheid and in favour of Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress (ANC) outside the South African embassy in London, United Kingdom in 1984. Photo credit: Telesur.

And the earth trembled...

Needless to say (but let’s say it anyway), you might have been certain that Olympic Goddess 吴敏霞 (Wú Mǐnxiá) would have picked up Edna’s defiant challenge just for the sake of taming Mrs. Mode’s restless heart and bring her a lasting happiness. All photos: 馮昱 (Féng Yù)/吴敏霞 (Wú Mǐnxiá) microblogging studio.

Riding the Magic Carpet

Just a memo to remind you that the Associazione Culturale “Il Delta della Luna” will participate in the 19th International Dance Festival “Vetrina Scuole di Danza AICS”, which will be staged at the Teatro Verdi, Via Ghibellina, 99, 50122 Florence, on Sunday, May 7, 2017, starting at 20,00.

We’ll take over their planet!

“Supermodels. Heh! Nothing super about them... spoiled, stupid little stick figures with poofy lips who think only about themselves”.

Edna Mode, The Incredibles

Keeping the Wild

Vladimir Borisovich Kramnik – Pentala Harikrishna
4th Gashimov Memorial; Şəmkir, April 24, 2017
Spanish Game C84

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. 0-0 Be7 6. d3 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. a3 0-0 9. Nc3 Nb8 10. Ne2 Nbd7 11. c3 Bb7. For 11. ... Nb6 12. Ng3 c5 13. d4 Qc7 see Kobalia – Kovalev, 17th European Individual Chess Championship, Gjakova 2016. 12. Ng3 c5 13. Re1 Rc8 14. Nf5!?? White impatiently opens hostilities. 14. ... c4! 15. dxc4 Bxe4 16. Nxe7+ Qxe7 17. cxb5 axb5 18. Bg5 Nc5 19. Ba2!?? ’Tis not the safer place, but apparently White’s Bishop didn’t want to surrender the death diagonal. 19. ... h6 20. Bh4??!! This is an incredible decision by Kramnik, who voluntarily entombs his own Bishop. 20. Bxf6 Qxf6 was certainly more pleasant for Black, but yet defendable from White’s viewpoint, so the 14th World Chess Champion must have ineffably felt something wild. 20. ... g5 21. Bg3 Bh7 22. Qe2 Kg7 23. Rad1 Nfe4 24. Rd5!? Another wild intuition leads Kramnik on more and more romantic tracks. 24. ... f5. Manifestly threatening ... f5-f4.

25. Rxe5!! A fantastic sacrifice! White gives up the Rook for three Pawns, dramatically upsetting his opponent’s inner balance. 25. ... dxe5 26. Bxe5+ Nf6? As pointed out by all chess engines, after 26. ... Kg6! 27. Bd4 Bg8! Black would have successfully defended. But humans are not machines. If not, we would not look at their games. 27. Qxb5! Yet another remarkable intuition by Kramnik. 27. ... Ne4 28. Bd4 Rfd8 29. h3! A devilish waiting move. “Isn’t it amazing that with a Rook down Kramnik played h2-h3 against Harikrishna and wins this game with White?”, Grandmaster Judit Polgár wonders. 29. ... Rb8 30. Qe2 Bg8 31. Bb1 Qb7 32. b4 Re8 33. c4 Qc6? Harikrishna ends up losing the thread under the heavy burden of defence duty. Stockfish gives 33. ... Qa6 34. b5 Qd6 35. Qb2 Bxc4 36. a4 Ra8 which is quite unclear and not so easy to draw for White. 34. Qb2 Rbd8 35. c5 Qe6 36. b5 Kf8? Here apparently Black misses his last chance for survival. Grandmaster Tiger Christopher Robin Hillarp-Persson, who commented the game for’s web site, recommends 36. ... Qb3! 37. Qa1 Kg6! with mid-long lines leading to roughly balanced outcomes. 37. c6 g4? White’s Pawns are unstoppable, so Black tries to distract them from their march. What a pity, however, that the text loses a clear piece... 38. hxg4 fxg4 39. Bxe4 gxf3. Not 39. ... Nxe4? 40. Rxe4 Qxe4?? 41. Bg7+ Ke7 42. Qf6 mate. 40. Bxf6 Rd6. Or 40. ... Qg4 41. Be7+! Rxe7 42. Qf6+ Bf7 43. Qxe7+ Kxe7 44. Bf5+ and wins. 41. Bg7+ Kf7 42. Be5 1 : 0.

mercoledì 26 aprile 2017

Come on, Jeremy, plant the Red Flag on the Tower of London

London, England: Jeremy Corbyn pretends to use a stethoscope with 2-year-old Haroon, after he met NHS nurses, student nurses and midwives to discuss Labour’s three point election guarantee for NHS staff, at the Florence Nightingale Museum, St. Thomas’ Hospital in London, England. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA.

God is not afraid of new things
Rome, Italy: A cap is blown towards Pope Francis during his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. Photo: Scavuzzo/Shutterstock.

“God is not afraid of new things”.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio

Time Is Tight

At noon of April 10, 2017, two days after the end of her Summit Chess Match with Vassily Mykhaylovych Ivanchuk, the four-time Women’s World Chess Champion 侯逸凡 (Hóu Yìfán) held an informal meeting with the students of The Chinese University of 香港 (Hong Kong), 深圳 (Shēnzhèn) [CUHK(SZ)] in 龙岗区 (Lónggǎng District), 深圳 (Shēnzhèn), China in which she shared her experiences first as a young student and then as a young graduate from the University of International Relations, always combining her university studies and duties with her challenging chess career. All photos:

The Moonstone

An image of Saturn’s moon Titan captured by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft during its final close flyby of the hazy, planet-sized moon. Photo: NASA/EPA.

The Importance of Not Being Arcovazzi
Notice sent to Viktor Orbán’s government over law that could force closure of institution founded by U.S. billionaire. [Read more].
A demonstration in support of Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. Photo: Zurab Kurtsikidze/EPA.

Notes from Underground

The “Case of Mihaela Sandu”: crime and punishment? Natalia Zhukova – the head signatory of the j’accuse letter against Mihaela Sandu (pictured above) – was banned by FIDE Ethics Commission for three months with a proviso (in fact, the penalty is suspended for one year, provided that Zhukova will not repeat again irresponsible and unjustified accusations), while all others signatories have been severely warned for their reckless and unjustified attitude to accuse Sandu of cheating. For further details, see

The White Album

Instead, today I will have to look back at a horrible past, but I’m sure it won’t be in vain. Don’t you think, Arcovazzi? Well, let’s speak about beautiful things: you – you who are neither Arcovazzi nor his wife – please do not miss your daily ride on the Associazione Culturale “Il Delta della Luna”’s carpet-dance!

Any resemblance is purely coincidental

“I never look back, darling. It distracts from the now”.

Edna Mode, The Incredibles

Fatal Attraction

Love is in the air
Artwork © rain1940

In the above artwork, rain1940 puts together two temperamental fashion designers from the same era but from different fictions, Edna Mode and Cruella de Vil, envisioning a rather difficult relationship between them. It’s not too hard to imagine who will have to defend herself.

martedì 25 aprile 2017

Short Stories from the Nineteenth Century

Sergey Alexandrovich Karjakin – Veselin Aleksandrov Topalov
4th Gashimov Memorial; Şəmkir, April 25, 2017
Caro-Kann B12

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. dxc5 e6 5. a3 Bxc5 6. Nf3 Ne7 7. Bd3 Ng6 8. 0-0 Nc6 9. b4 Bb6 10. Bb2 Nf4 11. c4 Nxd3 12. Qxd3 dxc4 13. Qxc4 Ne7!? For 13. ... 0-0 14. Nc3 Ne7 see Istratescu – Grachev, 15th Hilton Chess Festival, Basel 2013. 14. Nc3 Bd7 15. Qg4 Bc6. Black’s strategy of not castling will turn out to be disastrous. 16. Rad1 Qc7 17. Ng5! Qxe5? This cannot be good, but I think by now Topalov no longer liked his game. 18. b5 h5 19. Qh4 Bxb5 20. Rfe1 Qf5 21. Nxb5 Qxb5. As Alexander Aleksandrovich Alekhine said, it takes two persons to create a chess artwork. 22. Bxg7 Nf5

23. Nxe6!! In Morphy’s style. 23. ... fxe6. Not 23. ... Nxh4?? 24. Nc7 mate. 24. Rxe6+ Kf7 25. Qf6+ Kg8 26. Bxh8 Bxf2+ 27. Kh1 Qa4 28. Red6 Rf8 29. Qg6+ Kxh8 30. Rd7 1 : 0. No one, seeing the final position, would ever suspect that Black did not castle!

The Ghost in the Machine
Rector of Central European University hopeful EU will launch infringement proceedings against Orbán government. [Read more].
People protest in support of Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. Photo: László Balogh/Reuters.